For the past four years, Rio has been on a marathon of mega events such as the World Cup, papal visit, UN summits, and the Olympics. On September 18, 2016 with the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Paralympics, Rio was finally able to run through the finish line. Though it had some political and social turbulence, Rio de Janeiro was not only left with problems, but also benefits.
Rio, as I have mentioned in my last article, left many poor Cariocas homeless and hopeless. Large number of Cariocas living in favelas nearby the most urban parts of Rio were forced out of their homes and were moved to a far away location where they had no choice but to rebuild their culture and start from square one all over again.
The process of building the stadiums for the World Cup and the Olympics was also questioned. It required immense labor that were last discovered to use inhuman processes, often involving deaths of several workers.
At the end of the day, however, Rio was able to see several benefits.
The Olympic venue itself will be used in many different positive ways. The Future Arena, handball venue, will be broken apart to have its parts used to build four schools around the city, each serving 500 students. Similarly, the aquatics stadium will be turned into two community swimming centers. The media center will become a high school dorm. Like this, the remnants of the 2016 Rio Olympics will resonate with Rio for many more decades.
Other than the olympics venue itself, the marathon left the overall structure of the city better off. Four new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines were created to for more efficient transportation. Many roads were refurnished.
Surprisingly, even Cariocas and Brazilians were able to experience benefits. Not only do they have better education with more schools, Rio de Janeiro Federal University will now have a research lab from the reconstruction of the anti-doping laboratory.
Rio de Janeiro did indeed left 80,000 Cariocas living in favelas displaced. Many people died as a result of this marathon. But it was also this same marathon that was able to shine the light for change and progression to the previously dull Rio de Janeiro.